To determine the cardiovascular and hemostatic effects of fire suppression and postexposure active cooling.
Forty-four firefighters were evaluated before and after a 12-minute live-fire drill. Next, 50 firefighters performing the same drill were randomized to undergo postfire forearm immersion in 10°C water or standard rehabilitation.
In the first study, heart rate and core body temperature increased and serum C-reactive protein decreased but there were no significant changes in fibrinogen, sE-selectin, or sL-selectin. The second study demonstrated an increase in blood coagulability, leukocyte count, factors VIII and X, cortisol, and glucose, and a decrease in plasminogen and sP-selectin. Active cooling reduced mean core temperature, heart rate, and leukocyte count.
Live-fire exposure increased core temperature, heart rate, coagulability, and leukocyte count; all except coagulability were reduced by active cooling.